Possessed of a rolling, resonant voice, even at the lowest register, Damien Geter is an acclaimed bass-baritone, actor and composer whose credits include performances from the operatic stage to the television screen.
He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the Grammy Award-winning production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess as the Undertaker, and most recently was the Immigration Officer in Seattle Opera’s filmed production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight. This season, he will return to Portland Opera as Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca, perform Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Reno Symphony, sing the title role of Quamino in the world premiere of Errollyn Wallen’s Quamino’s Map with Chicago Opera Theater and William Still in Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s Sanctuary Road with the Oakland Symphony. He also will be the bass soloist in Sanctuaries, a chamber opera by Darrell Grant, with Third Angle New Music Ensemble,and the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Richmond Symphony.
Geter is also an acclaimed composer who infuses classical music with various styles from the Black Diaspora to create works that advocate for social justice. His growing body of work includes chamber, vocal, orchestral and full operatic works. Some recent highlights include commissions Cantata for a Hopeful Tomorrow for the Washington Chorus with subsequent performances this fall at Pacific Chorale, Invisible for Opera Theater Oregon, The Justice Symphony for the University of Michigan, Buh-roke for the Portland Baroque Orchestra and String Quartet No. 1 (Neo-Soul) for All Classical Portland and On-Site Opera. His piece 1619 also was performed by On Site Opera this fall as part of its presentation “What Lies Beneath.”
His An African American Requiem will have its premiere in spring 2022 in partnership with Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony with subsequent performances at the Kennedy Center. I Said What I Said for Imani Winds, co-commissioned by Anima Mundi Productions, Chamber Music Northwest and the Oregon Bach Festival, will receive its premiere in 2022. Future commissions include world-premiere productions in 2022, 2024 and 2025.
Previous operatic engagements have included the four villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Pacific Northwest Opera, Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca with Eugene Opera and Colline in Puccini’s La bohème with Tacoma Opera and Vashon Opera. At Seattle Opera, he has performed as the Undertaker in Porgy and Bess and the Colonel in Zach Redler’s new chamber opera The Falling and the Rising. A favorite of Portland Opera, he has appeared as Dr. Grenville in Verdi's La traviata, Alcindoro in La bohème, Bass Slave in David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, as well as a soloist in Lang's Little Match Girl Passion.
A highly sought recitalist and singer on the concert stage, Geter has a wide repertoire that includes Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Brahms’ Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Mozart’s Mass in C, Bach’s Cantata No. 3, Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.
He made his TV debut in the role of John Sacks on NBC’s “Grimm.” He was also seen in Netflix’s “Trinkets,” which aired in spring 2019. Musical theater credits include Kevin Rosario in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s “In the Heights” and Pontius Pilate in “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Geter is an alumnus of the Austrian American Mozart Festival, as well as the Aspen Opera Center. He was a semi-finalist for the Irma Cooper Vocal Competition. In 2012, he toured with the prestigious American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that helps to promote the preservation of this American art form.
He co-authored the book Music in Context: An Examination of Western European Music Through a Sociopolitical Lens, published by Kendall Hunt. He is the owner of DG Music, Sans Fear Publishing.
He serves as the artistic adviser for Resonance Ensemble and Portland Opera, where he is also music director.